Compare Levaquin vs. Penicillin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Levaquin
(levofloxacin)

Penicillin Vk
(penicillin)

Kills bacteria. Levaquin (Levofloxacin) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as generic. However, it can cause damage to your tendons, and make your skin more sensitive to the sun.Kills bacteria. Penicillin Vk (Penicillin) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as a generic. You may need to use another form of birth control along with your birth control pills. It's also best taken on an empty stomach but it can cause an upset stomach.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.41Levaquin
Reviews for Levaquin
53%
of people (All ages) say Levaquin is worth it
40%
say it works well
31%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Levaquin (levofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Penicillin
71%
-18% worse vs. Levaquin
52%
-12% worse vs. Levaquin
12%
-19% worse vs. Levaquin
1297 reviews
Have you used Penicillin Vk (penicillin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LevaquinPenicillin
  • Nausea 7%
  • Headache 6%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Dizziness 3%
  • Consitpation 3%
  • Abdominal pain 2%
  • Vomiting 2%
  • Indigestion 2%
  • Rash 2%
More Levaquin side effects »

The Penicillin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Penicillin side effects »
How it works
LevaquinPenicillin
Levaquin (Levofloxacin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.Penicillin Vk (Penicillin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from making their own protective covering.
Type of medication
LevaquinPenicillin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
LevaquinPenicillin
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
LevaquinPenicillin
Risk factors for serious side effects
LevaquinPenicillin
  • Over 60 years of age
  • On long-term steroid use
  • Heart, kidney, or lung transplant
  • History of liver disease
  • Seizures
Detailed Levaquin (levofloxacin) risks & warnings »
  • Prior severe allergic reaction to Penicillin Vk (Penicillin)
Detailed Penicillin Vk (penicillin) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Kidneys and liver
LevaquinPenicillin
  • There have been reports of liver damage that can require hospitalization or can cause death. These have been rare. Talk to your doctor if you notice pain in your abdomen, loss of appetite, yellowing of your skin or eyes, or dark colored urine.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
LevaquinPenicillin
  • If you notice redness/inflammation, pain or swelling in your joints or muscles, especially in the Achilles tendon, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Talk to your doctor immediately if you start to feel burning, tingling, numbness, pain or you can't tolerate heat or cold. This could be a sign of nerve damage. It can happen as soon as you start taking the medication and may not go away if you stop it.
  • If you notice pain in your Achilles tendons, contact your doctor.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
LevaquinPenicillin
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
  • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
  • Less resistance seen in bacteria to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see which antibiotics will kill the bacteria causing your infection.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule and suspension.
  • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
Downsides and risks
LevaquinPenicillin
  • Must be used with caution in people over 60 years of age, or who have had either an organ transplant or on long-term steroid use due to possible tendon rupture.
  • Levofloxacin can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
  • Can't be used if you've ever had myasthenia gravis.
  • You have to space out any medications with aluminum, magnesium or zinc by at least 2 hours.
  • Can cause changes in taste, headaches, and insomnia.
  • Many bacteria have developed resistance. Your doctor may run tests to see if Penicillin will work on your infection.
  • Can make birth control pills less effective.
  • Best taken on an empty stomach, but can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
LevaquinPenicillin
  • If you notice pain in your Achilles tendons, contact your doctor.
  • Wear sunscreen if you're going to be out in the sun.
  • Take the medication exactly how the doctor tells you to.
  • Take this medication with plenty of fluids.
  • Space out any medications containing aluminum, magnesium or zinc by at least 2 hours.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Can cause changes in taste, headaches and insomnia.
  • Take this medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
  • If you're taking birth control pills, this medication can make them less effective.
  • Try to take it on an empty stomach. If this gives you an upset stomach, take it with food.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
Learn more
More about LevaquinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Levaquin (levofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PenicillinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Penicillin Vk (penicillin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it